Week 1 of the Vegan Whole 30 is complete. It wasn’t so bad, though I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a day or two of it was tough. Haven’t heard of the Whole 30? It’s essentially a 30-day program where you only consume a diet of real, whole foods. That means:
- No Sugar (real, added, artificial)
- No grains (of any kind)
- No legumes
- No dairy
- No alcohol
- No carrageenan, MSG or sulphites
- No re-creating baked goods, junk food or treats with “approved” or “compliant” ingredients.
- No stepping on the scale or any body measurements during the program.
Be sure to review the Whole 30 book with recipes, and the site to see a list of foods you can and cannot have.
*Note: I included organic tofu, edamame, tempeh and lentils for my proteins as I am doing this vegan and those are the best options they say for us vegetarians/vegans doing this.
Why do this might one ask?
As we all know, processed food is not food, nor is it good for our health. We’re on the same page here, right? Okay, so take that further. Sugar is super addictive, like REALLY addictive because it’s in EVERYTHING (trust, just look at ingredients of things, even savoury foods). Other food groups like dairy, legumes, dairy have been known to have negative consequences on your body and with that, cause a variety of conditions like skin issues, digestive issues, allergies and so on. The goal of the program is to eliminate the food groups and items that are psychologically addictive, processed, and causing problems for your body. They even say that this program can change you life. In my opinion, at least in terms of your eating habits and your health/view on food. Our friend does this once or twice a year, and finally this year we decided to join her. November is a good month to do it since it’s after Thanksgiving (Canadian), Halloween, and before Christmas. So yeah, not a whole lot going on in terms of “food holidays”.
Coming from an already vegetarian, mostly vegan diet and lifestyle I thought I had a pretty good handle on my diet. Well, after a week of the Veg Whole 30, I realized a few things.
- I consume more processed food than I had originally thought.
- I rely and LOVE grains WAY TOO MUCH (rice, bread, pasta, chips – I’m looking at you)
- Eating whole foods is very filling
- I munched at night too often
- I had some bad food habits, such as the above.
- And also, food really can be addictive.
With all of that said, here’s how our first week went. I am doing the vegan Whole 30, and my financé and friend are doing the regular Whole 30 (including meats and eggs).
Days 1, 2, 3, 4….went smooth, super smooth in fact. I felt so great, and full of energy. Great moods. Full and very satisfied from 3 meals too, and had no desire to snack or even eat at night. Day 5 – we travelled to visit a friend and stopped in Whole Foods to get a few things. That was sad, very sad. I don’t get to go often, and pretty much everything in there is not Whole 30 approved in some way or another. Well, I got coconut aminos as a soy sauce replacement! (By the way, coconuts are amazing, let me tell you – think, sauces, coconut milk, cream, and so much more…) Our friends were very accommodating, and we had a nice Whole 30 approved dinner. After, came the temptations….read: fast food fries, chips, candy (though I could go without that last one). It was tough, because you go so long eating those foods and then BAM you can’t have them. Makes you really aware of your eating habits and the hold that certain foods have on you. We didn’t cave of course, because we are committed to this. It did make for a tough day 5 and leading into day 6 which was the aftermath of being in the presence of so many foods that we love but could not eat. Today is day 7, a full week in, and I’m back to feeling great and over that sad feeling of not eating foods I like. I had a SERIOUS craving for grains when I woke up Sunday morning of Day 6. It was horrible. Again, here we are today, and that has passed.
I have not felt the “hangover phase” that they say happens within the first few days, I’ve felt lots of energy. Both of us had a few rough nights of sleep though, and some odd dreams of food (more so Mike than me on that one). Overall, we are loving that we are fuelling our bodies with real, whole foods. We are eating healthy and balanced. I love being fully plant-based too. You have to be creative too, but let me tell you….there’s so many good foods to eat, you won’t sacrifice flavour or satisfaction on this plan.
Here are some of the foods that I had over my first week:
- Fresh fruit, cucumbers, nuts
- Fruit and veggie smoothies
- Turmeric Tofu scramble
- Chia seed pudding
- Sweet potato “toast”
- Spaghetti squash with lentil veggie sauce
- Lentil & veggie soup
- Homemade cashew cookie Lärabars
- Potatoes – lots of ways
- Leftovers from last night’s dinner
- Coconut vegetable tofu curry
- Stir-frys with tofu or tempeh
- Epic salads
- Zoodles with tomato sauce
- Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Potatoes – lots of ways
Just take a look at the pictures, surely you will see that this is a challenge, but it’s not impossible. You in no way starve yourself, you can eat a bounty of foods and can make so many dishes. You’ll even shed some weight, even if that’s not intended – just by cutting out all of the “crap”from your diet. I would HIGHLY recommend doing this, just get past the cravings and out of your old habits, eat some real nourishing food and I promise it will all be worth it. You will have have challenging days, no doubt. Just pull through and you’ll have a new sense of confidence within yourself for sticking to something that is benefiting your body and mind in so many wonderful ways. Not to mention some amazing high-vibe body/mind feels.
Keep in mind, planning is critical for the Whole 30, makes life so much easier.
My next post will be after the 30-day Whole 30 program. Stay tuned! 😉